Kosher 53


bigredesq | Jul 16, 2012 02:24 PM

I'd been eagerly awaiting the opening of Jezebel for a number of months, so was happy to get a reservation for the Sunday night (7/16) of their second week for me, my g-friend and 2 other friends.

As my girlfriend and I were a few minutes early, the hostess offered us the option of having a cocktail in the downstairs lounge before seating us upstairs. We followed her through the curtains into a very lux and intimate lounge area. There were about 10 tables set up in the lounge area with a velvet-lined bench running around the perimeter (a/c seemed not to be fully functioning, but I assume that was just one of the kinks that will be worked out). There was a very sensual, hip vibe to the lounge and service was attentive. We were immediately handed drink menus, with a small but sufficient cocktail menu. I'm not a drinker, but my girlfriend ordered the "Kosha Nostra" which she thoroughly enjoyed. While we were sitting and enjoying the atmosphere, one of the restaurant's owners, Menachem, came by to introduce himself - which we thought was a classy gesture (he also came by during our meal to check on us)

The rest of our party arrived, and we then proceeded upstairs to the dining area. The room had a very hip/trendy vibe. We were seated in one of the banquettes toward the back of the room - and the large dining area looked to me to contain a mix of 70% tables/30% banquets.

When our party of 4 was seated, the waiter presented us with drink menus (but no food menu?). We asked for the food menu and he promptly brought them for the table. I ordered the "Jewish Italian Wedding Soup", which I loved. It is initially presented sans broth as 4 chicken meatballs on a bed of vegetables and once it is placed in front of you, another waiter comes along with a teapot of broth and proceeds to pour it. The meatballs (and broth) were delicious, with a delightful lemon "kick". The rest of the table ordered the Israeli Couscous Risotto to share - I had a few bites and definitely enjoyed it (as did the rest of the table).

For the main course I and another person at the table ordered the Orange Glazed Duck Breast and Duck Confit - the duck breast was served sliced and I found it to be good (though a little chewy). The confit was not what I expected in terms of presentation (bits of duck sprinkled amongst some vegetables - but it was very flavorful and delicious). As an FYI - the portion sizes are not tremendous, but are reasonably sized. My girlfriend had the lamb burger which was served on foccaccia bread. Although she "ate around the bread" - she definitely enjoyed the burger (particularly the accompanying spicy chipotle sauce). She did share a few bites of the burger with me, but it was lost on me, as I do not enjoy lamb. The other person in our party ordered the Arctic Char - when I initially advised against doing so (as I don't believe Sunday is a good day to order fish at a Kosher restaurant) he checked with our waiter who found out from the chef that the fish was fresh. I am highly allergic to fish so will have to take his word, but he definitely enjoyed his meal.

My only suggestions for the menu 1) the menu selection seemed rather limited, so would encourage offering more menu items and 2) given that restaurant is in opening stages and that management wants to differentiate themselves from other kosher restaurants, why not offer a sampling plate that allows diners to sample all menu items?

As I noted above, since portions sizes were definitely not the overstuffed/2nd Ave deli variety, we definitely had room for dessert. As I am a dessert person, I did find the dessert menu to be rather small (choice of chocolate cake/angel's food cake/olive oil cake). However, before we ordered a friend of mine (who is a bit of an "insider" at the restaurant) gave me some good advice - "although you probably want to go for the chocolate cake, go with the olive oil cake" . I'm glad I listened to him, as I found the cake to be delicious (and not something I otherwise would have ordered)

In summary, I found the food to be very good (by both kosher and non-kosher standards), though they probably need to expand the menu selection. Service was generally good (although there were a few very minor hiccups when you could tell that they were in their second week of full service). Restaurant has a cool/downtown vibe - can def take non-kosher guests w/o embarrassment - though some may prefer that the noise/music volume be turned down slightly.

I very much enjoyed my experience and look forward to future visits (hopefully with an expanded menu).

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